Tzedakah: What is that?

“But the righteous is generous and gives.”  Psalms 37:12b

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Tzedakah means doing the right thing.  In Jewish tradition, it is an act to help those who are in need.  It is often referred to as charity, but its root word really means justice or fairness.  We are called in Scripture to help others and as followers of Yeshua we are to demonstrate our love for each other. (Matthew 5:16, 1 John 2:29, 3:7, 10).

Each Friday night during our Erev Shabbat prayers before the kindling of the Shabbos lights, our youngest son says the blessing:

“Blessed art Thou, L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us with His commandments and commands us concerning charity.” 

He then places some money into the tzedakah box. The boys  decided that all the money in their tzedakah box will go to CBY:India and CBY:Kenya. G-d is abundantly blessing these missions.  These mission are literally caring for orphans, widows, and the poor.

Do you who gave the greatest act of tzedakah? 

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It was Yeshua. He gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins, so that we would be rescued from death and eternal damnation.  He fulfilled Scripture and it is through our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Him that we are saved. We are to righteously live by faith (Hab. 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11).  He is our example, and we are to give glory to the Righteous One through our actions. (Isaiah 24:16)

Baruch Hashem

 

 

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Seeing Jesus in the Passover

Passover marks a time that recounts and celebrates the deliverance of the Children of Israel form slavery as G-d’s Chosen People and when Jesus was crucified for our sins, buried, resurrected, and ascended to Heaven to be with the Father.  It is a time when Jew and Gentile can come together to see the blessings that G-d has given us in His Word and means by which we can share the way, the truth and the grace that embodies Jesus.

I pulled together from various sources, including the Messianic Haggadah that we use from the Jewish Voice Ministries which is very detailed in explaining the symbolism of the Passover Seder and its connection to Jesus a document that I use to teach my children.  This document (Jesus in Passover) givens an overview of the various aspects of a Seder and their importance and fulfillment in Jesus.

There are many great teachings on the connection of Jesus to the Passover from various Messianic Ministries, including Beth Yeshua International (the one that our family uses), Jewish Voice Ministries, Hebrew4Christians, and many, many more.

I hope that this document is a blessing to your family.

 

 

Counting the Omer

Shavuot commemorates G-d’s giving of the Torah to Israel at Mount Sinai. It marks the period between the physical and spiritual redemption.  The New Testament reveals to us that Shavuot (Pentecost) is the climax of G-d’s plan for our deliverance through Jesus.

The countdown to Shavuot (Pentecost) represents the giving of the Rbarenewed Covenant to all of mankind.  It is when we were given the Holy Spirit.  Jews would come to Jerusalem to celebrate and reaffirm their commitment to the Torah.  The Holy Spirit descended upon Israel, as Jesus foretold, to offer the promise of eternal salvation to all who chose to believe. (Acts 2)

The Renewed Covenant makes the Torah written upon our hearts by G-d’s Spirit. It gives us a life fruitful in the truth and grace through the love of Jesus.  It is because of this connection that Counting the Omer is very symbolic for believers.  All of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances occurred during this time.

It is during this period that our family Counts the Omer and reads the Book of Acts and the accounts of Jesus’ post-resurrection appears.  It is a time to reflect upon our lives and to identify and purge those things that are blocking us from deepening our relationship with the Father.  It is a time to purify ourselves before him. A time to reaffirm our commitment to the promised offered through the Renewed Covenant.

We hope that you will join our family as we Count the Omer.  Here is a chart that our family is using to Count the Omer.  Each night we read a selection and the children cut out a sheave and place it on the calendar.  There are special stickers for the Ascension and day 50 which is the Shavuot (Pentecost).

Blessings from our family to yours.

 

Readings include: the Book of Acts, Mark 16:9, John 20:16-18, Matthew 28:5-10, Luke 24:34, 1 Cor. 5:15, Luke 24:31, Mark 16:14, Luke 24:33-39, John 20:19, John 20:19, John 20:24-29, John 21:1-14, 1 Cor. 15:6, Luke 24:50, and Acts 1:9-12 (ESV).